Lanarkshire woman floored by long COVID for nine months moves closer to family to help her through the day

A Lanarkshire woman left ‘absolutely floored’ by long COVID has had to move closer to her family just so she can get through the day.

Prior to her illness, Frances Thomson was “fit as a fiddle” working at a school with no underlying health problems.

Now, following nine months of living with the illness, she has been forced to sell her home in Wishaw so her family can help her with everyday tasks.

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The 45-year-old told Lanarkshire Live : “It’s been absolutely brutal.

“I consider myself very fit, but because of long COVID, I can’t exercise. Stairs completely kill me and I don’t know how I’m going to get back to how fit I was before all of this.

“I don’t know how I am going to go back to work, but I’m going to have to because I can’t afford not to.

“Since I was in hospital all those months ago, it has been a nightmare. We were living in Wishaw and when my partner Paul was at work, I couldn’t do anything for myself.

Prior to her illness Frances lived a very healthy lifestyle

“He was coming home and finding me in tears because of it.

“In the end we have had to move back nearer to my family in Carnbroe so I can get the support I need.”

Frances’ hell began in July last year when she was forced to isolate after Paul contracted COVID.

In a matter of days, Frances was lying in a bed at Wishaw General with blood clots in both lungs, pneumonia and COVID.

“I didn’t feel great and one Saturday night I couldn’t stand the pain – it was on another level,” she told us.

“On the Sunday morning I was in so much pain I was tears. Paul phoned an ambulance for me and at that point my liver and kidneys were failing.

“I woke up in Wishaw General two days later. The doctor told me I had blood clots, pneumonia and COVID.

“The doctor said I was lucky to be alive and that a machine was keeping me going. I’ve been through the wars.

“I was in hospital for a further two weeks on machines watching people around me die, which to be honest really scared me.”

Frances was in Wishaw General for two weeks

Frances was discharged from hospital two weeks later with scans revealing her clots were gone.

However, Frances has had lungs damaged and she is now on inhalants while she continues to struggle with fatigue every day.

She added: “My hair has fallen out and my body is sore. All I want to do is sleep because the fatigue is unreal.

“I now have memory loss and my whole body aches.

“The doctors now want to send me for an ECG to check my heart is okay and put me on tablets to help control the constant headaches.

“I am breathless all the time and there does not seem to be an end to it. I am 45, I was fit and healthy with no underlying health conditions and this is me now.

“But as I’ve been told I’m one of the lucky ones.

“I’ve had to go and see a counselor because of what I saw in the hospital with people in pain and dying.

“I feel that many people with long COVID are simply being forgotten about.

“I think something needs to be done because people can’t be feeling like this nine months or a year down the line.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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